How To Get Sunscreen Off Leather Car Seats

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Have you unloaded the car after a day of fun in the sun only to discover a spilled, blob of sunscreen on your leather interior? Now, you need to know how to get sunscreen off leather car seats. Well, we have researched this question and have the answers for you.

To remove sunscreen off leather car seats, follow these steps:

  1. Pick up all excess sunscreen
  2. Cover stain with baking soda
  3. Let the baking soda sit for 24 hours
  4. Check if the stain is still there
  5. Repeat if necessary

If these steps still leave some stains, you will want to try a leather cleaner. This will get hard to get stains out.

In this article, we will learn how to get sunscreen off leather car seats. We will also learn why sunscreen stains leather in the first place. From there, we will explore other sunscreen and leather-related questions. Keep reading to learn more.

Smooth leather lining car seats, How To Get Sunscreen Off Leather Car Seats

How To Get Sunscreen Off Leather Car Seats

You will want to follow these steps when you need to remove sunscreen from a leather car seat.

Leather lining of a car seats

1. Remove Excess Sunscreen

When removing sunscreen from a leather car seat, the first thing you want to do is to contain the mess. Start by dabbing up excess sunscreen with a washcloth.

Make sure that when cleaning off the extra sunscreen, you dab it up and not wipe it. When you try to wipe sunscreen off leather, it smears it across the surface and worsens the mess.

Once you have all of the excess sunscreen picked up, you can move on to the next step.

2. Cover Stain With Baking Soda

Next, cover the stain with baking soda. Be sure to use enough baking soda that the entire stain is covered.

After the whole stain is covered with baking soda, begin to rub the baking soda into the leather. This will help the baking soda bond with the sunscreen. Also, any excess heat generated by rubbing the baking soda will help loosen up the stain.

3. Let The Baking Soda Sit For 24 Hours

Once you have thoroughly rubbed in the baking soda, you will want to let it sit for at least 24 hours. This will give the baking soda time to break down the sunscreen and absorb it.

Some places say that you can leave the baking soda for only 2-3 hours before cleaning it up, but even those sources say waiting 24 hours will improve the effectiveness.

4. Check On The Stain

When you return to your leather car seat, you will see one of a few things. First, you may notice that the baking soda has turned orange. This means that it has absorbed part of the sunscreen. If the baking soda isn’t orange, then that means there wasn’t a lot of sunscreen for it to absorb. If the stain is gone, then your work is done.

5. Repeat If Necessary

However, if there is still a stain and the baking soda is orange, you may use the baking soda method again. It may mean that there was just too much sunscreen for the baking soda to absorb all the way.

To do this, reapply baking soda to the stain and allow it to sit. Check on it again in 24 hours for improvements.

Now, if you look and find that the stain is still there and the baking soda is white, that may mean that the baking soda can’t pull any more color out. If the stain is still there when this happens, then it means that the baking soda method will no longer work for your leather.

Do not worry because there is another method for removing sunscreen stains when the baking soda method isn’t strong enough. You can use a leather cleaner.

Why Does Sunscreen Stain?

Cracks on the leather seat of a car

Sunscreen stains because of the very chemical in it that lets it block harmful UV radiation. That chemical is called avobenzone. Avobenzone helps to block UV radiation and happens to react with iron in hard water. When iron rusts, it becomes iron-oxide. Iron-oxide is reddish-brown, and so sunscreen can stain things reddish-brown.

There are some sunscreens made with other chemicals that won’t leave that famous reddish stain from sunscreen. Here are a few of those sunscreens.

Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen

You can find this product here on Amazon.

Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen is a high-quality sunscreen with high ratings. It is also made without avobenzone so that it won’t stain clothes or leather.

This brand comes in several types of sunscreen, from sensitive skin to kids. Some types are water-resistant.

Neutrogena Sunscreen

You can find this product here on Amazon.

Neutrogena Sunscreen is a sunscreen specifically made for people with sensitive skin. It was made without avobenzone, so it can’t stain your clothes and leather. This sunscreen is perfect for keeping your skin protected and your leather and clothes unstained.

Banana Boat Simply Protect Sunscreen

You can find this product here on Amazon.

Banana Boat’s Simply Protect Sunscreen is made of simple ingredients without fillers. This makes it easy on the skin sunscreen for people with sensitive skin. It also doesn’t have any avobenzone, which keeps it from being a staining risk.

So, while it is true that sunscreen can stain leather and clothes, as you can see, there are options available that do not stain. If you have expensive leather seats in your vehicle or have nice clothing be sure to choose one of these sunscreens without avobenzone instead.

Best Leather Cleaner To Remove Sunscreen

When it comes to which leather cleaner is best at removing sunscreen, there are many contenders. For this reason, we will look at several options that have high ratings and see how they work.

Leather Honey Cleaner and Conditioner

You can find this product here on Amazon.

Leather Honey uses a cleaner and a conditioner to make your leather look new again. The cleaner is diluted with water and is sprayed onto a washcloth. Then the entire surface of the leather is wiped down with this washcloth. This will help to remove all oil-based stains, like a sunscreen stain.

The conditioner is applied in small amounts and rubbed across the surface of the leather. This adds oils to the leather and helps to give it a shine.

Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner And Conditioner

You can find this product here on Amazon.

Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner and Conditioner use a leather cleaner and conditioner to restore and polish your leather. The cleaner can remove all oil-based stains.

After cleaning the leather with the cleaner, apply a small amount of the conditioner and rub it into the leather until it is shiny and polished. Using a leather cleaner and conditioner every six months or so will keep your leather looking new.

Apple Brand Leather Cleaner And Conditioner

You can find this product here on Amazon.

Apple Brand Leather Cleaner and Conditioner uses both a cleaner and a conditioner to get your leather clean and shiny. The cleaner is used to remove stains and other oil-based spots.

The conditioner helps to add a shine to the leather after it is cleaned. The shine from the conditioner should last six months before another coat will need to be applied.

What Does Sun Do To Leather?

A woman putting on sunscreen on her hand

When the sun shines on leather, it breaks down the natural oils. This will cause your leather seats to start to break down and crack. This can be very bad for the health of your leather. As the oils leave, the surface will get dry.

Sunlight will also cause colors to fade. Try to protect your vehicle when you park.

It would help if you tried to park your vehicle in places where the sun won’t shine on it for long. Try looking for a tree in the parking lot that offers shade. If you have to park in the sun, try not to be very long.

How Do You Protect Leather Car Seats From Sun Damage?

KevianClean gives some great tips on protecting your leather car seats from sun damage:

  • You can get seat covers for your seats. These will take the damage from the sun instead of your leather car seats.
  • Another thing you could try is tinting the windows. If the sun doesn’t shine as strong through your vehicle, then your leather won’t take as much sun damage.
  • You may also want to try a windshield sunscreen. Windshield sunscreens help to keep the sun off your seats while you park your vehicle. These can greatly extend not only the life of the leather on your seat but also your dashboard.

Also, like mentioned before, it is a good idea to try not to park in direct sunlight as much as you can. If you can park in the shade of a tree, it will help to preserve your leather seats.

Final Thoughts

This article taught us why sunscreen stains and how to get it out of your leather seats. We also learned about what the sun can do to your leather and how to prevent that damage.

We hope you enjoyed learning about removing sunscreen stains from leather car seats. If you would like to learn more about leather seats, check out some of these other posts:

Does The Ford Bronco Come With Leather Seats?

What SUVs Have Leather Seats?

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